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BEST SIGN OF THE LONG-RUMORED RENAISSANCE OF DOWNTOWN ST. PAUL Minneapolis 2001 -

Regardless of what it says about Gov. Jesse Ventura's nationally televised observation that St. Paul's streets were designed by drunken Irishmen, traffic in the capital city's center has become a heartily welcomed constant. While one might be concerned that stop-and-go on Kellogg Boulevard might herald a new era of road rage, you can bet Norm Coleman is flaunting his cosmetically enhanced pearly whites every time he sees SUVs maneuvering around Rice Park in the hope of snagging a parking meter. As if the new science museum and hockey arena weren't enough evidence of drawing power, last year also saw that unmistakable harbinger of cosmopolitan renewal: the debut of downtown St. Paul's very first Starbucks, located in Lawson Commons.

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